Vincenza Vicari-Bentley, AFC
Empowering Financial Wellness Program Coordinator
Where are all my fellow spenders? (no offense to you savers)—you’re the yin to my yang!) At times being a spender works out perfectly for me. For example, when I’m putting together our monthly spending plan, I feel good about giving us permission to spend. But wait...there is a spouse I need to confer with about how we spend. So it’s important that you talk about money with your honey but not just once, it’s a continuous conversation.
Money is the biggest reason why marriages fail, but it’s not the money itself, and not even the lack of money. It’s the lack of talking about it and working it out together. Early in our marriage we were “learning to talk” because it was awkward and we knew it wasn’t a one-time event. You see I’ve learned that my spouse is the natural saver and that’s because I understood that we each have our own individual money histories. So sometimes we have to agree to disagree on if it’s better to save more for this thing and spend less for that thing but ultimately, we have to make sure both of our needs are being met.
Just as you can’t really love someone until you first love yourself (spender and all) -you can’t get your household finances in order until you have a positive relationship with money. For a lot of couples all across America, money has become the pink elephant in the room but it doesn’t have to be! Plan money dates! Pick a date and time and have your favorite beverage/snack handy and agree to a time limit. Ease into the conversation by understanding what is most important to each of you.
Our goals are a reflection of one or more of your values. You’ll quickly be able to identify where you may or may not be aligned. If there is a common goal, consider diving into this topic first before addressing the goals that aren’t aligned. By talking about money, you help eliminate money as a source of stress in your life and your relationship. Talk about your dream and goals (which are usually tied to money). My honey and I have a dream sheet that we revisit (and revise) every Valentine’s Day (it’s anything goes on the dream sheet).
It’s exciting to be able to dream together and it’s fun to look at not just what we’ve achieved but also how those goals and dreams have sometimes shifted. It's a great ice breaker for having the “money talk” and it allows us to create a roadmap together so we can both get to where we want to go! It’s really an important investment in your relationship! I can’t wait to hear how your money date goes! Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below!
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